"The potential for forest and land fires is currently quite high, especially in the peatlands of the Kunto Darussalam area," Commander of District Military 10 Captain Czi Sudarmaji stated here on Tuesday.
He said the first step to addressing the threat of forest and land fires in the local area is to increase patrols and the dissemination of information.
Patrolling is intended to narrow the space for perpetrators of forest fires, while dissemination of information is expected to educate the community on the dangers and threats of land burning activities.
The next step is to check the firefighting equipment and infrastructure either owned by the military or the Community Care Fire.
"We also began examining the boundaries of canals and ponds that have been built," he stated.
Meanwhile, coordination between the TNI AD, local community, and the Indonesian National Police also continues to increase, as joint partners, in the process of prevention and law enforcement with regard to forest and land fires.
The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) began detecting the emergence of hotspots indicating forest and land fires in the province in the past week. Based on data from BMKG, hotspots were detected in the districts of Rokan Hilir, Siak, Pelalawan, Kuantan Singingi, and Indragiri Hulu.
According to Head of the Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) of Riau Province Jim Gafur, several areas were facing drought in recent days that had made them more prone to forest fires.
Hence, the provinces BPBD is closely monitoring the emergence of hotspots by improving coordination between regional authorities in the region.
In addition, the provincial government has adopted a policy to immediately conduct integrated patrols to prevent fires. The effort was supported by the military, police, and other related institutions.
In 2016, forest fires had plagued thousands of hectares of land in Riau Province. However, the fire did not cause smog as was the case in previous years.
(Reported by Anggi Romadhoni/Uu.M052/INE/KR-BSR/F001)